Differences between queen, worker bee and drone
Worker bee is the smallest one.
Drone is the widest and he is bigger than the worker bee. His wings are equal to the length of his body. He has big eyes and no stinger.
Queen bee is the longest one. She is slender. Her wings are shorter than her body.
First signs that something is wrong with the queen bee
When you open the beehive, the bees will be upset, but if they then quickly calm down, it's a sign that everything is fine and there is no need to look for a queen. But if the bees remain upset, buzzing and quickly waving their wings, slightly raised to their back legs, it is a sign that the colony has no queen and is not able to raise a new one (there is no young brood in the hive) or has a drone-laying queen.
Where is the queen?
The queen bee is always where her brood is. Therefore, when opening brood boxes, be careful not to hurt the queen.
- If you just want to make sure the beehive has a queen, you don’t really need to look for a queen. Just check the brood:
If there is both open and capped brood, and also eggs in the hive, this means that the hive has an active laying queen.
If there is no capped brood, but there are eggs and open brood, or just eggs, that means the colony has a young queen who just started laying eggs.
If there are no eggs, it means there is no queen in the hive, or that something is wrong with the queen, or that the colony has a young unmated queen who still doesn't lay eggs.
How to find the queen bee?
Beekeeping equipment you need:
Use your hive tool to remove supers and queen excluder, and take out the frames.
Use your beekeeping smoker to calm your bees. Learn how to use beekeeping smoker
Steps to find the queen inside the beehive:
1Light the smoker.
2Get dressed in a protective beekeeping suit.
3Take your smoker and hive tool, and go to the apiary.
2Open the bee hive
1Remove the outer and inner cover and feeder.
2If there are honey supers, remove them (boxes above the queen excluder)
3Remove the queen excluder.
3Find the queen.
1Take a frame from one end of the box and carefully examine it to see if the queen bee is on it.
2If the queen is not there, carefully put that frame on the ground and lean it on the front of the hive.
3Check the next frame.
4If the queen is not on it, return that frame to the hive.
5Check the frames one by one until you find the queen.
4Return all frames to their place. Do not forget the first one you leaned in front of a hive.
5If you have two brood boxes, and you have not found the queen in the top box, repeat the whole procedure with the bottom box.
6Put everything back in its place and close the beehive.
The queen is constantly moving surrounded by bees that can hide her. Or it can be on a hive bottom or wall. So it's sometimes hard to find her. If you can not find the queen, close the hive, leave the colony to stabilize and try again in a few hours or the next day.